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BTA issues action alert, urges members to support Sauvie span

Posted by on April 1st, 2008 at 3:51 pm

“This project would cost a little more but would deliver huge returns.”
–from a BTA blog post

In the wake of Mayor Potter’s memo and with a looming City Council vote that could kill the plan to bring the Sauvie Island Bridge span to Northwest Portland, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance is sounding the alarm to its 5,000+ members.

They’ve issued an email action alert and have posted a story to their blog urging members to attend tomorrow’s City Council meeting and show support for re-using the span as part of the Flanders Street Bike Boulevard.

Stating that, “There is currently no low-traffic bike route that runs east-west in NW Portland,” the BTA writes, “The best way to get bicyclists and pedestrians across I-405 is on their own bridge, away from cars.”

They also write, “this project would cost a little more but would deliver huge returns.”

The BTA also lists several benefits of reusing the Sauvie Island span, rather than building a new (and cheaper) bridge:

–The bridge would be wider and more attractive, making it more like a little park or plaza than the narrow, concrete pedestrian bridges commonly built over freeways.

–A wide, attractive bridge would be another public space where people could gather for events, or could linger while out on a walk.

–A standard width bicycle and pedestrian bridge would only serve demand for so long before we started to talk about widening it (look at the recent summer traffic jams on the Hawthorne Bridge, the Esplanade, and in the bike lanes on N Vancouver and Williams).

Read more about the BTA’s stance on their blog.

Attend the City Council meeting:

    Wednesday, April 2nd
    10:00 am
    City Council Chambers (1221 SW 4th Ave.)

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  • matchu April 1, 2008 at 5:01 pm

    Could the time of the meeting and a street address be posted within the news update? It\’s easy enough to find my clicking on the links but given the last-minute nature of this alert, I think it\’d be helpful to make the information as accessible as possible for interested readers.

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  • Dag April 1, 2008 at 6:20 pm

    How long do these things typically last?

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  • Anonymous April 1, 2008 at 7:12 pm

    Portland City Council Meeting
    City Hall (1221 SW Fourth Avenue)
    Wednesday (4/2), 9:30 AM

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  • Aaron April 1, 2008 at 7:22 pm

    Another way to show your support would be to sign up for Pinot Pedal which is a fundraiser to close the funding gap which Jonathan mentioned.
    You can sign up through Urban Wine Works (which is graciously hosting the event)

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  • Patrick April 1, 2008 at 7:53 pm

    A \”little more\”? 1.5 million? I\’m a BTA member and I don\’t support this plan.

    I think this city could find a lot of better ways to spend the additional 1.5 million.

    As I understand it, the plan is already on the table to build the bridge, it\’s not like we\’re going to have BBQ\’s up on it.

    I\’m beginning to think Portland is drinking a little too much \”sustainable\” Kool-Aide

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  • Aaron April 1, 2008 at 8:34 pm

    Is there anywhere I can send an email of support if I\’m unable to attend?

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  • Carl April 1, 2008 at 10:22 pm

    1.5 million isn\’t that much.

    It\’s 1/2667 the price of the Columbia River Crossing.


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  • John Russell April 1, 2008 at 11:22 pm

    Must one be a Portland resident in order to weigh in on this meeting?

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  • toddistic April 2, 2008 at 7:46 am

    \”A wide, attractive bridge would be another public space where people could gather for events, or could linger while out on a walk.\”

    oh yes, a gathering place for people, what a load of crap. it\’s over a freeway. let\’s linger and suck in exhaust while our metal overlords speed by.

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  • white folks April 2, 2008 at 8:17 am

    perhaps I\’m a fool, but how can it cost more to NOT build a bridge but rather move it? 1.5m buys a lot of those heat applied green boxes….

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  • steve April 2, 2008 at 9:39 am


    Try comparing that number to lesser priced items. It is a small amount compared to some things, but a massive amount when compared many others.

    It may be many things, but a bargain it ain\’t!

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  • 2ndaveflyer April 2, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    This highlights some of my concerns with Sam Adams. He may have some great, and poor ideas and inspirations but his management of process is very weak to nonexistent.

    If anyone should know anything about the details of this proposal it\’s bikers like ourselves. Kudoes to all those who admit to knowing little about this proposal, its costs, or its alternatives.

    It\’s unfortunate that a decision like this comes down to a popular rally by people being asked to demonstrate their support for biking for a project of which they know very little. Without process there is no community buy-in. There are a lot more people that have to express their opinions on this than the 5,000 members of BTA.

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  • Spencer April 3, 2008 at 9:39 am

    I\’m a BTA member and don\’t support the movement of the Sauvie\’s island bridge. I don\’t really understand why they are supporting this over just putting in a modern bike/pedestrian span. If they want \”iconic\” then just design that into the new bridge.

    As for hanging out over the highway, there is a similar span at the North end of the park blocks, and after riding over it for two years, I can say I NEVER saw anyone hanging out and enjoying the beauty. That bridge is at least another 15 ft wider than the Sauvie\’s island span and is land scaped.

    My Advice for BTA from a member is get the bike overpass built and move on and get one built at Broadway where it is really needed. To continue to advocate for the more expensive \”vanity project\” for the Northwest over a real bike cooridors for Northeast and NoPo show BTA\’s priorities and biases. As a member I\’ll be watching, and maybe next years membership goes to CCC instead.

    Think about it.

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